What are the characteristics of fungus like protists? Information on slime molds and water molds.
Fungus – like Protists
Some protists are thought to be similar to fungi because of their not being photosynthetic and being formed of threadlike hyphae. But because they have flagella, centriols and cellulose cell walls, they cannot truly be accepted as fungi. This is of course a very controversial issue among scientists, and discussions are still going on. They have two major groups:
The main reason of theif controversial place in classification is that these organisms can move like amoeba, and they do not have a chitin cell wall. They do not have a definite cell shape, are multinucleate, saprophyte, and they are rarely parasites. They live in moist places, tree trunks and decaying leaves. They store their food in the form of glycogen. They can reproduce both sexually and asexually.
Most probably you have seen a white layer forming on the surface of the canned tomato paste if it’s left open for a long time. That’s exactly water molds! Water molds thrive on dead or decaying organic matter in water and some are plant parasites on land. They are not true fungi. Different than true fungi, they have cell walls made of cellulose, and produce motile spores. Saprolegnia is one of the most common examples of water molds.